Lorcan Finnegan, 2019, Ireland-Belgium-Denmark-Canada
Story by Lorcan Finnegan and Garret Shanley; written by Garret Shanley
I went into ‘Vivarium’ with a vague sense of its premise and that it seemed to be met with a kind of indifference that intrigues me. In fact, ‘Vivarium’ ticked many of my genre boxes: the unreliability of reality, unfairness, leaning on the abstract and unanswerable, the unknowable. Of course, the title is a major clue, but I certainly got the most by knowing so little.
All there is becomes a fake existence at the hands of an uncaring omnipresent, abstract force. The force isn’t even being deliberately malign: it’s just doing what it does. This is the kind of concept that implies that all our existential crises and rumination is just an anomaly of the human race in the wider scheme of lifeforms just carrying out their existence. In this instance, it goes beyond being a mystery until it just grinds the couple to the nub. It doesn’t drive them to arguments or acrimony: they just drift apart, which is just as cruel.
‘Vivarium’ is a film whose creepiness reached far down in me to take root in a way that doesn’t happen often. A prime example of the uncanny.
And the screaming.